Part abstract realist painter/part urban archaeologist, Melissa Chandon delves below the surface of the everyday; avoiding excess frills to create an unfettered view of Americana with a Pop Art twist. In her world, a ‘50s vintage car with sharp chrome fins tows a turquoise camper. Vibrant retro gas pumps stand in a row. Shadows stream from a silver Airstream trailer… As is so obvious in her paintings, the pleasure of travel on the open road is high-octane fuel for her art. Many of us remember weekend jaunts in the back seat of the family station wagon when we were kids. But Melissa’s experience was so much more… in essence it was school-on-wheels. "Road trips were my parents’ passion," she recalls. "They saw the American landscape as a means of educating their five children – exposing us to the humanity of highways, small towns, truck stops and KOA Kampgrounds all across the US. To this day, I find cars, gas stations, motels, billboard signs fascinating – and I feel it is important to document this era of American history before it disappears." Even as a three-year-old, Melissa had an undeniable passion for drawing. Perhaps it was the fact that her family relocated so often when she was growing up that made her subconsciously
previous spread, Lake Dock, acrylic on canvas, 36" x 48" above, Abstract View of a Car, acrylic on canvas, 48" x 48"